Book Series Acta Scandinavica, vol. 13

Sainthood, Scriptoria, and Secular Erudition in Medieval and Early Modern Scandinavia

Essays in Honour of Kirsten Wolf

Dario Bullitta, Natalie Van Deusen (eds)

  • Pages: 466 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Illustrations:14 b/w, 26 col., 5 tables b/w.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2022

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-59548-1
  • Hardback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-59549-8
  • E-book
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This Festschrift seeks to honor Kirsten Wolf, an internationally renowned scholar in the field of Old Norse-Icelandic studies, on the occasion of her sixtieth birthday in November 2019.


“This volume provides very scholarly essays likely to be of enduring worth (…)” (John Kennedy, in Parergon, 40/1, 2023, p. 247)

“Overall, this volume presents a large collection of excellent essays which clearly advance scholarship in some of the more neglected areas of Old Norse studies, honouring and building upon the acclaimed research of Kirsten Wolf. T” (Natasha A. J. Bradley, in SAGA-BOOK, XLVII, 2023, p. 172)


Dario Bullitta is Assistant Professor in Germanic Philology in the Department of Humanities at the University of Turin. His research focuses mainly on Old West Norse and Old East Norse biblical, apocryphal, and theological literatures and on the identification of their Latin sources.

Natalie M. Van Deusen is Henry Cabot and Linnea Lodge Scandinavian Professor at the University of Alberta. Her research interests include Old Norse and Early Modern Icelandic paleography and philology, manuscript culture, hagiography, disability studies, and gender studies.


While medieval Iceland has long been celebrated and studied for its rich tradition of vernacular literature, in recent years attention has increasingly been paid to other areas of Old Norse-Icelandic scholarship, in particular the production of hagiographical and religious literature. At the same time, a similar renaissance has arisen in other fields, in particular Old Norse-Icelandic paleography, philology, and manuscript studies, thanks to the development of the so-called ‘new philology’, and its impact on our understanding of manuscripts. Central to these developments has been the scholarship of Kirsten Wolf, one of the foremost authorities in the fields of Old Norse-Icelandic hagiography, biblical literature, paleography, codicology, textual criticism, and lexicography, who is the honorand of this volume.

Taking Prof. Wolf’s own research interests as its inspiration, this volume takes an unprecedented interdisciplinary approach to the theme of Sainthood, Scriptoria, and Secular Erudition in Medieval and Early Modern Scandinavia in order both to celebrate Wolf’s profound career, and to illustrate the many ways in which these seemingly different fields overlap and converse with each other in important and productive ways. From sculpture to sagas, and from skaldic verse to textual editions and the translation of hitherto unpublished works, the contributions gathered here offer new and important insights into our knowledge of medieval and early modern Scandinavian literature, history, and culture.


List of Illustrations


List of Abbreviations


Section I. Pictorial and Sculptural Sainthood

In Hand and Underfoot: Reading Medieval Scandinavian Wooden Sculptures — THOMAS A. DUBOIS

Pictorial Hagiography: The Gotlandic Death of a German Emperor — MARIANNE KALINKE

Section II. Medieval Sainthood

Miracles and Emotions in Old Norse-Icelandic Literature — ÁSDÍS EGILSDÓTTIR

St Cecilia’s Icelandic Miracles in Holm perg 2 fol — MARGARET CORMACK

St Michael: God’s Þjónustumaðr — JÓN VIÐAR SIGURÐSSON

Section III. The Sagas of Guðmundr the Good

The Evidence for the Lost *Vita et miracula Godemundi boni of Brother Arngrímr — GOTTSKÁLK JENSSON

Who is Selkolla and What is She? Disentangling Traditions in Guðmundar sǫgur byskups — SHAUN F.D. HUGHES

Section IV. Spiritual Readings

Frá því er Guð freistaði Abraham: Genesis 22 in Old Norse-Icelandic Tradition — SIÂN E. GRØNLIE

A Þingeyrar Book for Spiritual Ascent: Scribes and Items of AM 624 4to — DARIO BULLITTA

Section V. Skaldic Poetry

The Danish Tongue on Skaldic Lips — RUSSELL POOLE

Post-Classical Kennings — MARGARET CLUNIES ROSS

Kennings for Poetry in Late-Medieval Icelandic Trúarkvæði — MARTIN CHASE

Section VI. Secular Erudition

Sturla Þórðarson: A Moral Witness — ÚLFAR BRAGASON

Guðrún’s Mysteriously Missing Husband — TODD MICHELSON-AMBELANG

Section VII. Postmedieval Sainthood

Helga Aradóttir in Ögur: A Lutheran Saint? — ÞÓRUNN SIGURÐARDÓTTIR

The Once-Popular and Now-Forgotten Verónikukvæði — MARGRÉT EGGERTSDÓTTIR

Í ástarbing: Marian Sentiments in Lbs 3013 8vo — SVANHILDUR ÓSKARSDÓTTIR

A Tale of Model Women: An Edition of Kvendæmaþáttur — NATALIE M. VAN DEUSEN

List of Publications by Kirsten Wolf

Tabula gratulatoria